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Make and Give These Unique Shortbreads For the Holidays!

In baking terms, “short” refers to a cookie that has a high proportion of fat to flour. These cookies are more crisp than chewy, with a crumbly, sandy texture.

And shortbread is the ultimate “short” dough.

Shortbread is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile cookies you can make. It pairs beautifully with almost any flavor you can dream up, and is a snap to pull together – typically with minimal ingredients.

Though you can roll it out and cut into shapes, I prefer to shape the dough into a log. The unbaked dough freezes beautifully, so in one afternoon you can crank out several different “logs,” wrapped up and ready to go at a moment’s notice (once sliced, the unbaked cookies can go directly into the oven).

Though shortbread is delicious all on its own, I love folding in various ingredients, to offset all that buttery richness. I’ve rounded up some of the more unusual ways to riff on the basic recipe, and any one of these would make a lovely holiday offering!

  • Delicious and Unusual Shortbreads! 1 of 15
    unique shortbreads

    I call shortbread the "little black dress" of cookies. Its simple and basic flavors - while delicious all on their own - pair so beautifully with sweet and savory spices, herbs, and more! These add-ins lend color, texture, and flavor, and make for a lovely presentation on a dessert buffet - or packaged as a sweet holiday gift!

  • Lavender Shortbread 2 of 15
    babble Lavender Shortbread

    The strong, woodsy taste and aroma of lavender is a perfect partner for mild, buttery shortbread. I love the purple flecks, too!

    Read how on Babble

     

     

  • Nutella Shortbread 3 of 15
    babble Nutella Shortbread

    Because why NOT add Nutella to shortbread? Shortbread is a perfect "base" for that beloved combination of hazelnut and chocolate - with a drizzle of white chocolate for good measure.

    Read how on Babble

  • Brown Butter Shortbread 4 of 15
    spoonful Brown Butter Shortbread

    The irresistible, nutty flavor of brown butter brings a whole new level of complexity to basic shortbread. Add in whole wheat flour and a coarse, grainy sugar, and you've got something out of this world.

    Read how on Spoonful

     

  • Raspberry Shortbread 5 of 15
    spoonful Raspberry Shortbread

    The secret ingredient in these pink shortbread hearts? A simple puree made from frozen raspberries! The subtle color and mild, tangy fruitiness make for a delicious - and colorful - presentation!

    Read how on Spoonful

  • Blue Cheese and Pecan Shortbread 6 of 15
    babble Blue Cheese and Pecan Shortbread

    Shortbread can go savory too! These easy to make cookies are studded with bits of blue cheese and pecans - perfect with wine and cheese. Keep a few unbaked "logs" in your freezer, so you are ready for a hostess gift, unexpected dinner guests, or just a quiet afternoon by the fire. It's all good.

    Read how on Babble

     

  • Lemon Thyme Shortbread 7 of 15
    babble Lemon Thyme Shortbread

    Bookmark this for Mother's Day - fresh lemon zest and thyme offset all that buttery richness, and look so pretty too!

    Read how on Babble

     

     

  • Coffee Shortbread 8 of 15
    donuts dresses and dirt Coffee Shortbread

    Your kitchen will smell like an Italian cafe, thanks to the combination of orange zest and ground coffee in this inventive (and addictive) recipe!

    Read how at Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

  • Toasted Coconut and Lime Shortbread 9 of 15
    donuts dresses and dirt Toasted Coconut and Lime Shortbread

    Flecks of lime zest and toasted coconut add flavor and color, scattered throughout these crunchy, buttery cookies. 

    Read how at Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

  • Lemon Lime Basil Shortbread 10 of 15
    Yankee Kitchen Ninja Lemon Lime Basil Shortbread

    These lovely, citrus-y, herb-filled cookies get an added dose of sparkle and crunch, thanks to a topping of coarse sugar, also called "sanding" sugar.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Yankee Kitchen Ninja

     

  • Vegan Shortbread 11 of 15
    kitchen Grrrls Vegan Shortbread

    I never imagined being able to make shortbread without "real" butter. No longer. These cookies are every bit as authentic (and delicious) as the original, so even those avoiding dairy can enjoy the rich taste of these festive treats!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Kitchen Grrrls

  • Oatmeal Shortbread 12 of 15
    pastry studio Oatmeal Shortbread

    How pretty are these? The "dynamic duo" of oats and brown sugar make a stellar appearance in these shortbread wedges.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Pastry Studio

  • Herb Shortbread 13 of 15
    gourmandistan Herb Shortbread

    Citrus stars in these perfect-for-tea-time cookies, courtesy of fresh lemon zest and a mixture of fresh lemon and orange thyme leaves.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Gourmandistan

     

  • Rosemary Whole Wheat Shortbread 14 of 15
    the pig and quill Rosemary Whole Wheat Shortbread

    Shortbread truly is a "blank slate" when it comes to pairing with almost any ingredient you can think of - like these whole wheat cookies, flavored with fresh rosemary and sweet-hot mustard.

    Image and recipe courtesy of The Pig and Quill

  • Matcha Green Tea Shortbread 15 of 15
    Kirbie's Cravings Matcha Green Tea Shortbread

    The shape and color of these cookies hint at the distinctive flavor of green tea within. These would make a lovely gift paired with a pretty tin filled with loose tea leaves.

    Image and recipe courtesy of Kirbie's Cravings

     

Read more from Sheri on Donuts, Dresses and Dirt
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